Business plans - June
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A round up of environment management news from companies including Unilever, Volkswagen and Tesla.
Unilever has announced that its global manufacturing facilities have saved 1 million tonnes of CO2 since 2008. The fast-moving consumer goods business says energy consumption has declined by 20% over the past seven years, saving it €244 million. The company reports that an anaerobic digester at its UK Marmite factory, has converted 18,000 tonnes of solid waste into methane, which is used to provide 30% of the factory’s thermal energy. Unilever says it now plans to switch to renewable energy at its sites where it will be cost effective.
Volkswagen has reported progress towards its ambition to be the world’s most sustainable automotive company by 2018. The firm, whose brands include Bentley, Porsche and Skoda as well as VW, says its global production operations reduced CO2 emissions by 23.2% in 2014, while energy consumption and waste from manufacturing sites declined by 18.5% and 21.7% respectively. The company’s 2018 targets include reducing energy and water consumption, waste and emissions per unit of production by 25%.
Tesla has unveiled a range of battery storage units to work with solar power systems. The rechargeable lithium-ion battery will store surplus solar energy not used at the time it is generated for periods of low sunlight. The units can also connect to the grid, charging during low-cost periods when demand for electricity is lower and discharging during more expensive periods when electricity demand is higher.
The International Aerospace Environmental group (IAEG), whose members include Airbus, Boeing, GE Aviation and Rolls-Royce, has released the first aerospace and defence declarable substances list (AD-DSL). IAEG says it will enable suppliers to efficiently exchange information and supply data on chemicals and substances that are of concern to the industry. The list includes chemical substances incorporated into aerospace and defence products, or critical in either their manufacture or maintenance. The list will be updated periodically, and used as part of an aerospace industry standard now being developed, says IAEG.
The Environment Agency has successfully prosecuted Southern Water for thousands of illegal raw sewage discharges that polluted rivers and coastal waters in Kent, resulting in a record £90m fine.
In Elliott-Smith v Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, the claimant applied for judicial review of the legality of the defendants’ joint decision to create the UK Emissions Trading Scheme (UK ETS) as a substitute for UK participation in the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS).
None of England’s water and sewerage companies achieved all environmental expectations for the period 2015 to 2020, the Environment Agency has revealed. These targets included the reduction of total pollution incidents by at least one-third compared with 2012, and for incident self-reporting to be at least 75%.
Global greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture are projected to increase by 4% over the next 10 years, despite the carbon intensity of production declining. That is according to a new report from the UN food agency and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), which forecasts that 80% of the increase will come from livestock.
Half of consumers worldwide now consider the sustainability of food and drink itself, not just its packaging, when buying, a survey of 14,000 shoppers across 18 countries has discovered. This suggests that their understanding of sustainability is evolving to include wellbeing and nutrition, with sustainable packaging now considered standard.
Billions of people worldwide have been unable to access safe drinking water and sanitation in their homes during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a progress report from the World Health Organisation focusing on the UN’s sixth Sustainable Development Goal (SDG 6) – to “ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all by 2030”.
New jobs that help drive the UK towards net-zero emissions are set to offer salaries that are almost one-third higher than those in carbon-intensive industries, research suggests.